Olive oil is used as a key ingredient in a wide variety of soaps, creams, lotions, shampoos and other cosmetic products.
But it can also be used by itself to moisturize and nourish dry skin and chapped lips, to strengthen weak and brittle nails, to restore and beautify hair and scalp.
In fact, olive oil offers a great alternative to commercial cosmetics, that are full of chemicals and which often end-up damaging your skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Instead, olive oil can be used to hydrate and cleanse your skin, while also balancing your natural oil skin production, leaving you with radiant skin.
Using olive oil for your skin could be as simple as applying and massaging extra virgin olive oil with your hands, and then washing with a washcloth wet with hot water. The water's heat opens up your skin pores and allows them to release dead skin cells and other impurities, which are then conveniently removed with the washcloth.
Using olive oil for your hair treatment is equally simple and effective, as the extra virgin olive oil cleanses, hydrates and nourishes your hair and scalp.
Olive oil's cosmetic properties were known to the ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and addition to its health benefits, which they intuitively knew to be true.
Today, we know that extra virgin olive oil helps lower cholesterol, it is loaded with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, it helps stay regular and has many more health-related advantages.
Why is olive oil so good and yet so healthy at the same time?
We're used to having to choose between the two. For example, when we're presented with food that tastes like cardboard but we're told is full of organic, unsweetened fiber. ;-)
Well, olive oil is mostly composed of mono unsaturated
fatty acids. These acids can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. They can
also help normalize blood clotting and be beneficial to blood sugar control (re: diabetes). Olive oil is rich as well in antioxidants and in vitamin E, which are believed to play a role in cancer prevention.
So, enjoy olive oil in its many uses, mainly culinary ... and remember that the secret is to add olive oil to other quality ingredients (e.g. tomatoes, feta, arugula, bocconcini, etc) to end up with absolutely delicious and healthy food!